Not Made for Each Other
This episode gives us a deep dive into Laura Moon. After three episodes of getting to know Shadow, I feel like they are fundamentally mis-matched. Shadow is a romantic and Laura is a realist. Shadow wants a domestic life and Laura wants adventure. Shadow has a destiny and Laura has a doom.
Laura wants a fantasy, but she is too smart to believe it can be real. Her intelligence is refreshing. When other shows try to create a 'strong woman' they make her a fighter or a durable victim. Laura is flawed and human, but also very intelligent. What makes her so compelling to me, as a character, is that she is so smart that she is her own worst enemy. So often on television, a smart woman is characterized as socially awkward but full of facts. Or she is a villain. Laura's intelligence has killed her sense of wonder and hope, which is a much more interesting take on the price of intelligence.
There is a deeper dysfunction to Laura that is only hinted at in the episode, but it is clear that she doesn't feel like she deserves happiness. Why is this? The episode is not clear on this. When she marries Shadow, her mother is there but not her father. Her grandmother is dead. Is her father also dead? She mentions that she is paying rent to live in her dead grandmother's house, which implies that her relationship with her mother (and landlord) is strained. Was there abuse in her past? Or so much loss that she can't risk enough to feel more loss? When Anubis tries to judge her, she tips the scales herself and declares that she is unworthy. This tells me that it is more complicated than feeling wounded. She feels guilty about something.
After Laura comes back from the dead, a lot of this complexity is flattened. The magic that brought her back also connected her to Shadow. She loves him more completely now than she ever did in life. Why? Does the coin inflame her love for him? She seems relieved to be in love. Did the coin dampen her anxiety over loss? Or is all this because of her death? Or the fact that she has a second chance?
I enjoy the crazy fight scene, and I'm glad that we finally get an answer for what happened the night Shadow was lynched. But. I don't like how all the emotional complexity is squeezed from Laura. She ends up as a more typical 'strong woman' archetype. Able to kick ass, but unable to stop her intense love for the male hero. In life, she wasn't right for Shadow but now in death I feel like she is too devoted. So, I guess either way, they are not right for each other.